***image1***PARIS – Department of Defense members were recently on hand to offer tours of eight military aircraft at the 46th Paris Air Show.
French president Jacques Chirac attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Le Bourget Exposition Park event that allows traders, exhibitors and non-professional aeronautical enthusiasts to see and display a variety of aircraft and components spanning more than 50,000 square meters of runway and indoor exhibition space.
Young U.S. military members got the opportunity to exhibit aircraft for industry professionals, media, and engineering students, providing individual tours and demonstrations for air show spectators.
“I am very surprised that I get to see these aircraft so closely,” said Rémy Berets, an ESTACA aeronautical engineering school student from Paris. “The pilots and crewchiefs were extremely nice and really helped me understand how their aircraft function.”
Smiling at camera flashes from ardent onlookers, U.S. Army AH-64D pilot 1st Lt. Jason Woodward, 6th Squadron, 6th CAV, said he was pleased to see such interest in the DOD aircraft exhibits.
“We have the chance to show people hands-on what they may have only read about or seen on television,” said Lieutenant Woodward. “It’s a great feeling.”
Other military members demonstrated software and digital technology at an indoor exhibit that featured JMPS, or the Joint Mission Planning System, which provides the infrastructure, tools, and decision aids for integrated planning of aircraft, weapon and sensor missions.
“We want to show the community as well as our NATO allies some of the ways we provide interoperability,” said Maj. Jefferson Cleghorn, Systems Integrations and Test Division Mission Planning Systems Group director, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.
The JMPS was showcased at the indoor exhibition, while eight military aircraft exhibited along the runway were: AH-64D and E-2C Hawkeye twin-propeller fixed wing aircraft, the F/A-18F, F-15E, F-16 fighter jets, C130J cargo plane and the T-6A, a turboprop designed as a dedicated training aircraft. The C-17, C-130J, F-16 and T6-A conduct flyovers throughout the week.